Columbus AFB, Mississippi
Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi is home of the 14th Flying Training Wing of the Air Education and Training Command. Columbus AFB is located five miles north of the city of Columbus in Lowndes County, Northeast Mississippi, ten miles west of the Alabama state border.
Columbus Air Force Base began as an advanced twin-engine flying school during the rearming of America prior to World War II. Pilot training began here in February 1942. Columbus Air Force Base is where both instrument training, and flying standardization boards got their start, earning the base national recognition in TIME magazine and the New York Times. More than 8,000 students came to Columbus for pilot training during World War II to become flying officers in the U. S. Army Air Corps. The base closed after the war and remained inactive until 1951 when it was reopened as a contract flying school to train pilots during the Korean War. Four years later, the base was transferred from Air Training Command to Strategic Air Command. Columbus became home to a KC-135 tanker squadron, and a B-52 bomber squadron in the late 1950s. In 1969, Columbus resumed the mission for which it originally activated - training pilots.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Moody AFB, GA, as follows: relocate the Primary Phase of Fixed-wing Pilot Training to Columbus AFB and two other installations; relocate Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals Training for Pilots to Columbus and several other installations; and relocate Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals Training for Weapons Systems Officers to Columbus and several other installations. This recommendation would realign and consolidate USAF's primary phase of undergraduate flight training functions to reduce excess/unused basing capacity to eliminate redundancy, enhance jointness for UNT/Naval Flight Officer (NFO) training, reduce excess capacity, and improve military value. The basing arrangement that flows from this recommendation would allow the Inter-service Training Review Organization (ITRO) process to establish a DoD baseline program in UNT/NFO with curricula that would permit services latitude to preserve service-unique culture and a faculty and staff thatwould bring a "Train as we fight; jointly" national perspective to the learning process. Environmentally, this recommendation might require significant air permit revisions for Columbus. This recommendation might impact cultural, archeological, or historical resources at Columbus. DoD would need to re-evaluate noise contours. It also might need to modify the hazardous waste program for Columbus. Additional operations at Columbus might impact wetlands, which might restrict operations.
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